I still love every minute of my new daily routine: get up at 7:30am and have a chat with Mavis the cat, brush her while we both take in the morning sunrise over the soccer pitch out back, put a pot on the stove and boil water for my tea (very British), fix some cereal and yoghurt, and get to work. I have been doing a lot of writing lately.
On Sunday we first checked out Old Spitalfields Market and then made our way on foot over to Whitechapel in order to hunt for my particular brand of Indian spices – must have my curry spices no matter where I am in the world!
I am glad we made the trek over to Whitechapel for two reasons: 1) We happened upon the Sunday Up Market at the Old Truman Brewery complex; and 2) We came across an art store dubbed the UK’s largest art materials store. I love the visual appeal of rows of oil paint tubes neatly lined up at art stores. It certainly fans the flames of my artistic side every time I venture into one – and Atlantis lived up to its name. They seemed to have every imaginable art supply you would need.
Old Spitalfields Market
T-Shirt stalls, artwork, crafts, handmade clothing, and obligatory knock-off goods from China made for a rather disappointing market experience. Old Spitalfields is pleasant in appearance and well situated to be sure, but seemed a bit tired and interchangeable. I felt like I could have been at an uninspiring convention center trade show.
Apart from a few unique vendors that were selling some neat handmade artisan craftwork, it was row upon row of similar goods at similar prices. I have been spoiled in my days of traveling, and know when a market offers little else from the usual wares that vendors from all different nationalities try to peddle in their makeshift stalls. I don’t like giving negative reviews, but in my opinion you can use your time more wisely and find better markets to browse than Old Spitalfields.
Sunday Up Market
The weather was cold and threatening rain, so Meredith and I were glad to retreat to the warmth of a heated indoor building. Immediately we felt the heat from the large number of gas cookers and stoves, which created a sauna like atmosphere. We welcomed the warmth to warm up our ears, fingers, and toes as we browsed the initial wares.
The wafting smells coming from further inside sent my olfactory nerve into overdrive the moment I stepped into the market foyer. The Sunday Up Market is nothing short of a foodie paradise. The cornucopia of smells and mouth watering eye-candy is a feast in and of itself. I thought I had died and gone to food heaven. Curry stalls five across, pulled pork on a bun, Chinese dumplings, Moroccan lamb stew, Shwarma, Vietnamese cuisine, British pies, a father/son team from Cuba dancing and singing traditional Cuban music all the while carving a whole roast pig, even virgin pina colada in a hollowed out pineapple – all to be had at this amazing Sunday market.
Naturally I went with the sausage on a baguette. What can I say, I miss my polish sausage from Costco!
If I ever find myself on death row and they ask what I want for my last meal, I will tell them to bring me one meal each from the food stalls at the Sunday Up Market.
Charles Dickens Museum
I published a post earlier in the week dedicated solely to the Charles Dickens Museum self guided tour we took this past Wednesday. We `had a great time exploring the life and times of Dickens. I waited two and a half years to visit the museum, and I hope I don’t wait that long to return!
We ended the day at Whitechapel station where I finally found my beloved Shan brand curry powder, Keema, and Garam Masala spices. Time to head home and cook up a spicy feast.
Where to Stay in London
For great hotels in London, check out Booking.com London, our favorite hotel booking website.